[Pnews] Thousands of Americans serving life without parole for committing non-violent crimes

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Nov 15 13:15:17 EST 2013

  8 Shocking Facts From the ACLU's Report on Life Without Parole

A new study documents the thousands of Americans serving life without 
parole for committing non-violent crimes

By Denver Nicks <http://nation.time.com/author/denvernicks/> 
@DenverNicks <http://www.twitter.com/DenverNicks>Nov. 14, 20132 

A sentence of life in prison without the possibility parole seems like 
it would be a punishment reserved only for the most heinous criminals, 
those deemed unfit for reintroduction into society. That's not always 
the case, according to a new report from the American Civil Liberties 
Union, which advocates for more lenient sentencing.

The cases documented in /A Living Death 
<https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/111213a-lwop-complete-report.pdf>/ are not 
necessarily typical, and many are the result of mandatory minimum 
sentencing laws, not the discretion of a judge or jury. But some of the 
stories of the 3,278 people the ACLU counts serving life without parole 
in federal prisons and the nine states that provided them with data are 
nonetheless shocking.

*The number of U.S. prisoners* who received life sentences without 
parole quadrupled between 1992 and 2012.

*More than 18 percent* of nonviolent offenders serving life without 
parole in the federal system are in for their first offense.

*Lance Saltzman,* of Florida, removed a gun from his home that belonged 
to an abusive stepfather who had used the weapon to threaten his mother 
repeatedly, he said. He was convicted of armed burglary and, due to a 
previous burglary conviction when he was 16, sentenced to mandatory life 
without parole.

*In the state of Illinois*, a black person is 33.25 times more likely 
than a white person to be sentenced to life without parole for a 
non-violent crime.

*Clarence Aaron*, a college student with no prior criminal record, was 
given three life-without-parole sentences for his minor role in two 
planned large drug deals, one of which never took place. He received 
longer sentences than his co-conspirators and has spent the past 20 
years in prison.

*Black prisoners* comprise 91.4 percent of the non-violent 
life-without-parole population in the state of Louisiana.

*Vincent Winslow* was homeless when he acted as a go-between in the sale 
of two $10 bags of marijuana to an undercover cop. The seller was not 
arrested. Based on decade old drug possession conviction and unarmed 
burglaries committed 14 and 24 years earlier, Winslow was sentenced to 
life without parole.

*The crimes for which* people have been sentenced to life without parole 
(when combined with prior convictions) include stealing: small change 
from a parked car, a pair of socks, nine children's videotapes, a pair 
of work gloves from a department store, a leaf blower, three golf clubs, 
chocolate chip cookies and a slice of pizza.

Read the full report here 

Read more: 8 Most Shocking Bits from the ACLU's Report on Life Without 
Parole A Living Death | TIME.com 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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